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Sunday, November 18, 2012

Let's start at the very beginning...

Hi everyone!  *waves while trying not to look sheepish*

I hope all of you are doing well.  This has been a crazy fall here in my real life, so I sincerely apologize for the lack of posting.  We went on vacation right after my last post, and then we all came down with a horrible chest cold that I am still battling today (I think we keep passing it around, but I think it's coming to an end... thank goodness).  Then my grandmother passed away at the beginning of November and now my daddy is in the hospital and will be having bypass surgery within the next few days.  *sigh*

Needless to say, my mind and heart really haven't been in blogging.  Plus, my "to review" box is getting getting fuller and fuller which has a tendency to shut me down, rather than lighting a fire under my slacker ass.  Plus, I had chopped my nails down to nubs a few weeks ago and they had just got back to the point where it wasn't a pain in the ass to paint them.  My plan was to get back to blogging soon and then I did a total dumbass thing and nicked my nail while trying to clip them.

So I figured I could either neglect this blog for another 2-3 weeks and get even further behind, or I could use it to see if I could take my nails from the short, misshapen, raggedy messes they are, to healthy nails within the next few weeks.  As a thank you for helping to promote their Facebook contest, Barielle sent me a package including several nail treatments, so I figured this was a good time to try them out.

Here is a picture I took about 15 minutes ago.

You can see the nick in my ring finger nail.  You can also see my raggedy ass cuticles.  LOL.  So, over the next few weeks, I'm going to try and repair my nails and cuticles and I'm showing you all the process. 

I used the nail cream last night before bed and today, I used the protein.  I will be sure to keep you updated on my progress.  

Products were sent to me by Barielle

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Barielle Facebook Sweepstakes

Hi everyone.  I apologize for being MIA for a little bit, but I wanted to tell you all about this great sweepstakes sponsored by Barielle...

This contest runs through 10/31/2012.  To enter, go to Barielle's Facebook page (click here to direct link).  The winner will receive a prize package of...
  • Any two of our 5 pack Nail Polish collections 
  • One piece of Barielle’s Nail Strengthener Cream (full size)
  • One piece of Nail Rebuilding Protein Base Coat
  • One piece of Ultra Speed Dry Manicure Extender Top Coat
All products equal a value of over $100 and per Barielle's post, there will be multiple winners.  Good luck!

If you are having issues entering from your phone, please use this link.

I was asked to promote this contest by Barielle's PR.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Lynnderella A Neutral Party

So a few months ago, I would have told you that I was never going to buy any Lynnderella polishes... that her brand of crazy overrode my lemmings.  Then the crazy died down and my lemming for Salad Days just did not go away.  So when I saw a BIN listing on eBay for 3 Lynnderellas for $66 (directly from her), I cringed and then hit "buy".  LOL.  I chose 3 of my list of about 10 Lynnderellas, Salad Days, When the Moon was a Star, and today's post... A Neutral Party...

This is 2 coats of A Neutral Party over 2 coats of Essie Gym Dandy, a deep taupe from this Fall's Yogaga collection.  I also used 2 coats of Sally Hansen Insta-Dri, one over the base color and one over the glitter.  

A Neutral Party was the one I kept waffling on in my selections.  And even after I sent my order, I was kicking myself for not ordering One Nutty Fruitcake instead (especially since it appears that it is now OOS).  However, once I put on A Neutral Party, all the kicking stopped.  I have had this on all day and I can't stop looking at my nails.  LOL.  I absolutely love it over Gym Dandy, though I can't wait to wear it over darker shades, like a dark red.  

This is the first Lynnderella I have used, so I was really surprised at the myriad of glitter shapes, colors, and sizes compared to some of the other indie glitters I own.  Even with this one being a pretty simple color palette, there is a lot going on, so I will do my best to describe it.  It's a clear base loaded with golden micro-shimmer, and hex, square, and round glitter in copper, silver, gold, brown, white, and gunmetal.  There is also black bar glitter, though you can only see one in my swatch and that is slightly hidden by the flash on my ring finger.  I think my favorite thing about this polish is the square glitter, because frankly... square glitter had me at hello.  :)

A Neutral Party applied very well and I had no issues with getting the glitter on to the nail.  It also was almost completely smooth after just one coat of topcoat.  I would have done a second coat to completely even it out, but my bottle of Insta-Dri is gloopy and hard to use, so I just did the one. 

One thing I did notice is that these are a bit stinky.  When I first got them, they were very smelly, almost like Kleancolors, but after being in my house for a couple of days, that has died down somewhat, but they still smell like they are chocked full of chemicals.  I'm sure that I have lost many, many brain cells to nail polish fumes over the years, so the smell, while present, didn't really bother me while I applied this.

Current Lynnderellas are available through her eBay store for the $23 for singles and (when available) $22 each when you purchase them in multiples (the LE and "one-ofs" are auctions and go for much more).  Yes, that is crazy for nail polish, but sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do.  :P

Lynnderella A Neutral Party was purchased by me and Essie Gym Dandy was sent to me for review.  
Friday, September 21, 2012

Zoya Blyss

Happy Friday everyone!  I am so glad that the kiddies have an inservice day today.  Getting up at 6a every morning has been killing me.  I'm such a night owl, that I don't fall asleep until 2a or later, so those early mornings have been a little rough.  I'm not sure how I'll handle it if I ever get a real job again where I have to get up regularly in the morning and then stay awake the rest of the day.  LOL.

Anyway, today, I have for you one of the my purchases from Zoya's most recent BOGO deal.  Each time they run one of those, I tell myself that I don't need any more Zoyas and yet, I keep finding myself purchasing more.  What can I saw, I'm a sucker for both a sale and for Zoya polishes.  In my last order I ordered 8 polishes and all of them were either a purple or a creamy pink/coral.  Today, I have one of the purples, Zoya Blyss...

Zoya Blyss is a bright magenta purple with a slight frosty-metallic finish.  Zoya states that Blyss has a strong blue duochrome, but honestly, I didn't see it.  I saw the potential for a blue flash, but it didn't really happen, in my experience.  Blyss was much like Zoya Hayden (one of my biggest Zoya disappointments) in this regard.  Also like Hayden, the formula seemed very watery at first.  It took me 3 coats to reach total opacity, and even then I felt like I was wanting the color to be richer and stronger.  I still liked it, I just wish it was a little more pigmented.  

Though the formula was thin.  I had no issues with application.  It flowed nicely on the nail and I had no issues with it flooding the cuticle, which is something that often happens to me with a polish is on the watery side. 

Blyss is available from Zoya.com and Zoya polishes retain for $8 a bottle.  That said, be sure to friend them on Facebook and follow them on Twitter as they are always offering promotions.  

Blyss was purchased my me.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Candeo Colors Joker

Candeo Colors Joker has been one of my longest indie lemmings.  It seems like whenever Melinda would add it to the sale on her site, I wasn't fast enough.  So when I saw it in stock on Llarowe a few weeks ago, I jumped on it.  I know that Llarowe has been a bit of a drama llama lately, so I was a little nervous about ordering, but the power of the lemming was stronger than my trepidation.  LOL.  

She came in a couple of weeks ago, but that was when packages from Llarowe were still being sent with signature required, and it actually took me almost a week to have a chance to go the post office.  And then she sat in my purse for another week.  So much for a hardcore lemming, right?  :P

Anyway, I finally had a chance to put her on my nails (am I the only one that refers to nail polish as "her"?) and I am so happy I got her...

This is 2 coats of Joker over 3 thin coats of Essie Boxer Shorts, a soft periwinkle blue.  I also used one coat of Barielle No Chip Speed Dry.  

Joker is a mix of purple glitter, purple microglitter, blue glitter, periwinkle matte glitter and large silver and holo hex glitters.  Any other color you see in my swatch above (i.e. pink, orange, and green) was created by the flash off the holographic glitter.  It's a little brighter than I thought it would be, as I initially thought it would kill my lemming for Lynnderella Nosegay.  It doesn't... but Lynn's crazy kinda kills that on it's own.  :P  That said, it's still really, really pretty and I think it would fantastic over tons over colors (can you imagine it over a bright blue like Zoya Song?).  

Also, in the future, I think I may go lighter with my application.  It actually looked really pretty at just one coat, but I never know when to stop, so that's why you see two above (my second coat was much thicker).  The base on Joker is clear and I had no issues with the formula being thick or with the glitter not wanting to transfer to the nail.  That's one of the best things about Candeo Colors glitters.  

If you can snag it, Joker is occasionally available at Candeo Colors' website.  That said, they only restock about once every 4-6 weeks and when they do, the stuff is loaded into carts within seconds.  You probably will have a better chance of getting Joker through Llarowe (where I got mine), but keep in mind that she charges $12, about 25% more than purchasing directly from Candeo Colors, plus shipping costs.  For me, if it's something I really want, I'd actually rather pay a little more and get it, rather than deal with a long wait and fight a stampede.  

Joker was purchased by me.  Boxer Shorts was provided for review.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Barielle Surf's Up

It's no secret that I love fall weather.  I'm a grumpy hermit in summer, and when fall comes along, I am so happy.  I also love fall nail polish colors, and I have been gravitating towards then since the weather turned hotter than the surface of the sun.  But, I am also beach-bound in less than a month (Cocoa Beach, FL... here I come) and I've been obsessing over our trip, so when I saw this beautiful ocean blue from Barielle, I knew immediately what was going on my nails for today's post.  

This is Barielle Surf's Up...

Surf's Up is an AMAZING, deep, cyan blue creme.  I reminded me of my other favorite cyan or cerulian blue, Zoya Robyn, but it's actually deeper and more saturated than Robyn, so you could own both with no worry of dupes.  It also leans a tad more teal than other cyan blues I've seen. 

I think I literally gasped when I pulled it out of the box, and it didn't disappoint at all on my nails.  The formula is fantastic.  I did use 3 coats, but it was opaque at two.  I simply applied 3 because it was so nice, I didn't want to stop.  LOL.  :P

Fair warning, though, this will give you smurf fingers when you remove it, and I did see a bit of staining, so you'll want to wear basecoat (I didn't) and even double up if you are prone to staining.   Also, because it's so pigmented, it does dry a bit matte.  I used one coat of Barielle No Chip Speed Dry to bring back the shine.

Basically, Barielle hit it out of the park with Surf's Up.  I love everything about it, and if you love blues, you really need this one.  It's fantastic.  

Barielle Surf's Up is available from Barielle.com and, as always, Barielle polishes are buy one get one half.  Though, you can pick up the entire Some Like it Hot collection for only $25.  

Products used in this post were provided for review.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Orly Emberstone

In my effort to get back to regular posting, I am trying to create posts for individual polishes.  I do have a couple more full collections waiting in my "to swatch" box, which I will try to swatch all together, but for the most part, it's singles so hopefully, I will be able to do one-per-day and not feel completely overwhelmed and also feel like I'm accomplishing something.  

Today, I have for you Orly Emberstone...

Emberstone is an amazing orange-based red shimmer, that reminds me a lot of China Glaze Cherry Pie from 2009's Summer Days collection, but rather than having tonal glass-fleck, Emberstone has gorgeous orange and purple (!) shimmer particles.  I absolutely love the contrast of the shimmer in this polish, and while the purple is unexpected, it really works with the red base.  What's funny is that I had seen swatches of this and I saw the purple shimmer, and yet in the bottle, the shimmer gets hidden.  But once I had it on my nails, the shimmer comes out to play.  This is one of those rare polishes that actually looks better on the nail than it does in the bottle.  

Emberstone is from last fall's Mineral FX collection and it's still easy to find, especially online.  I purchased mine through eBay and I paid about $7 for it.  Though, a simple Google search should show you where it's available.  Retail is $8.50 a bottle.

Emberstone was purchased by me.  

Monday, September 17, 2012

Essie Yogaga Collection Review

Last month, I received a press release from Essie's PR collection regarding one of their new fall collections, Yogaga, which was a collection of 6 "neutral" cremes with fitness-themed names.  I thought it was such an intriguing collection for fall, and I'm so happy to show it to you today.  

Before I show you swatches, there is one color in the collection, Yogaga, that I did not receive for review, but it is looks like a soft, sandy beige.  You can see the color on Essie's website.  Here are the colors I did receive...

Boxer Shorts - light periwinkle blue.  Boxer Shorts is the reason that I put the word neutral in quotations above, because while it is a calm, serene blue, it's not what I would exactly call neutral.  It is, however, a gorgeous color and it's my favorite of the collection.  This one is definitely on the blue side of periwinkle, but there is a enough purple in the base to make this one a periwinkle rather than a cornflower blue.   Also, of the 5 I swatched, Boxer Shorts had the best formula.  It did take 3 coats to reach opacity, but the coats were thin enough that there was no issue with evenness or leveling.  

Gym Dandy - medium-toned, brown taupe.  Essie calls this one a "greige" and while I definitely see brown and mushroom and taupe, I don't see much grey.  It's certainly in the same vein, but it's more brown than what comes to mind when I see the word greige.  This one is one of the more fall-ish colors in the collection.  I did have a bit of issue with the formula, as it was a tad thick, but going slow and trying to keep a thin amount on the brush helped.  3 coats.

Marathin - slightly spicy, tea rose pink.  Marathin is the one that I have shown you before, and it's a very pretty pink for cooler months.  The more I wore it, I did think it age my hands a bit, but in all honesty, that also could have been from the Julep remover which dried out my hands while I was swatching.  This one is a great pink for those of you that just like to wear neutral colors.  For example, my mom and aunt would LOVE this one.  I did have the same formula issues that I had with Gym Dandy, but they were nothing that couldn't be handled.  2 coats.

Pilates Hottie - light grey-lavender.  Now this is one that I would call a "greige", albeit a very pale one.  It's a really pretty grey/lavender hybrid, but unfortunately, it didn't look all that great on my nails.  Though, I think it would look much better on a darker skintone.  These pale greys and lavenders always have a tendency to give me a case of "dead hands".  Like the other 2 light colors I swatched, this one also had a thicker, slightly temperamental formula.  3 coats.    

Spinning Again - brick red.  In the bottle, I thought this one was going to be more brown, but on the nail, it's a fantastic brick red that just screams "FALL!".   It's also very flattering on my pale skintone. It had one of the better formulas in the collection and is my second favorite behind Boxer Shorts.

I think this is a very wearable fall collection from Essie.  It's funny because while it is a collection of neutrals, my favorites were the least neutral of the bunch.  What does that say about me?  LOL.  

The collection, including Yogaga, is currently available from Essie.com, as well as other outlets (I think I actually saw it at Target last week), and retail for $8 a bottle.

This collection was sent to me for review.  

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Dove Damage Therapy Daily Moisture Conditioner Review

I realize that this blog is almost 99% me taking pictures of my fingers and posting it on the internet, but I am actually more than just my fingernails.  I have hair, too.  And not’s not good hair, either.  It’s temperamental, board-straight, thin, fine, color-treated hair.  And I'm sure many of you are in the same boat as me, so when I got the opportunity to try one of Dove’s new conditioners, I happily took it. 

Hair conditioner is always one of those things of which I am trying to find my perfect match.  Many don’t condition enough and leave me with a matted, tangled mess to brush out; or on the flip side, they are too heavy and weigh down my fine hair, so I look greasy by the end of the day.  Thus, even the though the bottle said all the right things, I approached this Dove review with a fair amount of skepticism.  I’d used Dove hair products before, so I knew it was going to be nice.   I just didn’t know if it was going to work for my hair. 

I received Dove Damage Therapy Daily Moisture Conditioner and I was happily surprised at my results.  I pretty much like everything about it.  First off, I love the bottle.  I like it when conditioner bottles have the cap on the bottom.  Not only does it make it easy to tell the difference from the matching shampoo bottle, but it also makes it easier to grip and use.  Bonus to this Dove bottle as well, because not only is the cap on the bottom, but the bottle is tapered and more of a rounded triangle shape so it fits well in your hand, and you are less likely to drop it while trying to use it with wet hands.

Additionally, the conditioner itself is just as nice as its container, too.  When you pour it out, you notice that it’s soft with a pearly finish, but it doesn’t feel heavy or thick.  It does have a scent to it, but it isn’t overpowering or heavy and I find that it doesn’t follow me for the rest of the day, meaning that my head isn’t surrounded in a cloud of rose petals. 

When I’m using it as my regular conditioner, I find that I need about a quarter size about to completely condition my shoulder-length hair.   It works easily through my hair and after leaving it my hair for 30 seconds to a minute, it makes my hair super soft and easy to work with for the rest of the day.  If my hair is especially dry, like after a coloring, I will leave this in longer, say 5 minutes, to help keep my hair from looking like straw. 

I’ve also been using this on my daughter’s hair, which is much like mine, only she has more of it, and I must say that this has saved us from many a screaming fit in the morning, while I fix her hair in pigtails.  I haven’t had to use the detangler since using this conditioner on her hair.  

I used this conditioner exclusively for about 2 weeks and I really loved it.  I’ve even been using a nickel-sized amount along-side a conditioner for color-treated blonde hair.  I definitely will be purchasing a second bottle of this when I’ve used this one up.  In fact, I've already purchased other items in the Dove Hair Therapy line because I like this conditioner so much.

If you are like me and you have fine, thin, color-treated hair, I encourage you to try Dove Daily Moisture, and to assist you in trying this fabulous product, there is a link to a $1.50 off coupon at the bottom of this post.  Also, be sure to enter the sweepstakes (information to follow) as you can win a $1000 Spafinder gift certificate.

Enter to win a $1,000 Spafinder gift certificate!



You may receive (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry methods:

a) Follow this link, and provide your email address and your response to the Promotion prompt

b) Tweet (public message) about this promotion; including exactly the following unique term in your tweet message: "#SweepstakesEntry"; and then visit this link to provide your email address and the URL to that Tweet.

c) Blog about this promotion, including a disclosure that you are receiving a sweepstakes entry in exchange for writing the blog post, and then visit this link to provide your email address and the URL to that post.

This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older. Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. Winners will have 72 hours to claim the prize, or an alternative winner will be selected.

The Official Rules are available here.

This sweepstakes runs from 9/4/2012 - 9/30/2012

Be sure to visit Dove®Hair.com to get a coupon for $1.50 off Dove Hair Therapy products.

Sponsored post.  I was provided a sample for this review.  However, opinions expressed within this sponsored post are my own.
Saturday, August 25, 2012

Deborah Lippmann Some Enchanted Evening over Essie Marathin

Over the next few days, I plan to swatch Essie's Yogaga collection, but in the meantime, today, I have for you one of the polishes from that collection, Marathin.  I loved it on it's own, but me being me, I had to add glitter to it...

I used 2 coats of Marathin, a medium-toned, tea rose creme, and topped that with a gradient of Some Enchanted Evening.  

The formula on Marathin was perfect.  I was able to reach opacity in 2 coats over a coat of CND Stickey (I'm trying hard to get back in the habit of using base coats).  

Essie Marathin is available at essie.com and Deborah Lippmann Some Enchanted Evening can be purchased at deborahlippmann.com.  

Marathin was sent to me for review.  Some Enchanted Evening was purchased by me.  Links within this post link to sites to purchase polishes shown and are not affiliate links. 

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Essie Long Stem Roses

I have such an affinity for rose-red polishes, and Long Stem Roses is no exception.  It's a bright pink-based red loaded with fine silver shimmer.  When I first saw this one in the bottle, I was afraid that the silver ribbons were going to translate into frostiness, but that is totally not the case.  On the nail, the shimmer is very subtle.  There is a tad bit of pearl to the finish, but it's very wearable.  

The formula was perfect, and I was able to reach opacity in 2 coats.  It does suck up topcoat a little bit, so you may need to apply an extra coat of topcoat (in my picture, I used 2 coats of Sally Hansen Insta-Dri).  

Long Stem Roses had been in Essie's line up for awhile (it was one of my first Essie lemmings that I never actually filled until recently), but it looks like it's since been discontinued.  However, it is still available online at Beauty Stop Online.  

Long Stem Roses was sent to me by Beauty Stop Online.  Links within this post link to Beauty Stop Online and are not affiliate links.  

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Orly Rock-It

Hi everyone, first off, I want to apologize for being so MIA lately.  My kiddos started school last week, and like it is every year, it's harder for me to adjust to the new schedule than it is for them.  LOL.

Anyway, in my effort to be back to a regular blogging scheduled, today, I have for you another polish that I received from Beauty Stop Online for review, Orly Rock-It...

Orly Rock-It is from last year's Mineral FX collection and it's a deep magenta metallic shimmer with an orange duochrome flash.  It's really, really pretty and reminds me of the shimmer metallics from OPI's Burlesque collection from Holiday 2010.  

The formula was okay, though it was a bit thin, and when I had to apply it with my non-dominant hand, I had a problem with it flooding my cuticle.  It took 3 coats to completely reach opacity, but because it was a little thin, the 3 coats dried rather quickly.  It does dry a bit matte, so you will need to use a topcoat to bring back the shine.  

All in all, I love this polish.  In fact, I am wearing this as I type this and I can't stop looking at my hands.  LOL.

Orly Rock-It has been discontinued, but it's still readily available at online stores, including Beauty Stop Online

Orly Rock-It was sent to me for review.  Links within this post link to Beauty Stop Online and are not affiliate links.   

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Essie Dive Bar

Essie Dive Bar is a deep, blackened teal shimmer and as summer is winding to a close (it's still hot as all get out, maybe I just feel like that because my kiddos started school today.  LOL), it's one of those colors that I will happily reach for when I'm in the mood for fall shades.  I absolutely love this color, and I especially love the way it appears to deepen around the edges of my nails.  The formula on Dive Bar was great and I was able to reach opacity in 2 coats.  

Dive Bar first hit shelves back in 2010 as part of Essie's retail launch, but it was also re-released last year as part of a collection.  You can find this color, as well as many other recently-released Essie polishes through Beauty Stop Online.  Dive Bar was one of those colors that I had wanted when it came out, but then it got pushed to the back of my wishlist like many, many other colors.  And as much as I love finally filling a long-time, HTF lemming, it's also nice to add those "easy-to-find, but not brand-new" polishes to your stash.  

Essie Dive Bar was provided to me for review by Beauty Stop Online.  The included link links to Essie polishes on Beauty Stop Online's website and is not an affiliate link.  
Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Feather Nails

I've always loved the look of feather nails, but I just do not have the patience to freehand a feather, or, even moreso, use a real feather.  So, when I saw this design in my new SHANY plates, I knew I had to give it a try.  To complete this look, I...

1. Painted my nails a base color of Nails Inc Black Taxi.
2. Using China Glaze Adore, I stamped the plume design from SHANY plate SH24
3. Applied a coat of topcoat on my ring finger and applied 3 2mm light blue rhinestones to the design on my ring finger.
4. Sealed in the rhinestones and the stamped design on the rest of my fingers using Sally Hansen Insta-Dri.

I know I've said it a thousand times, but outside of the specific stamping polishes, the China Glaze Romantiques (like Adore) are absolutely perfect for stamping.  I don't think they are in China Glaze's regular line-up, but they still are available.  I got mine, years ago, from Victoria's Nail Supply, but you can find them all over the internet.  

Nails Inc Black Taxi was provided for review.  Other products within this post were purchased by me.  The included link is not an affiliate link.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Zoya Song and Ivanka Gradient Mani

I couple of days ago, I saw this picture on Zoya's Facebook Page...

Image from Zoya Russia's Facebook Page
Turns out it was a share from Zoya Russia's Facebook Page.  I immediately fell in love with the colors and as I had both Song and Ivanka, I decided to do a gradient manicure with those colors.  Here's what I came up with...

This is 2 coats of Song with 2 coats of Ivanka on my tips.  I did one coat from about the middle of my nail up and then a second coat closer to my free edge.  

Also, I know with creme polishes, to create a gradient, you have to use a makeup sponge and make sure that you get just the right airbrushed effect.  However, with shimmer polishes, they are a bit more forgiving.  I was able to achieve this with only the brushes that came with the polishes.  So, if you are wanting to create a gradient look and can't find your sponges (like me) or simply don't want to be bothered with a bunch of extra steps, then a sparkly gradient may just want you are looking for. 

I hope you love this look as much as I do.  I can't wait to try it with a few other of Zoya's shimmer metallics.

Ivanka was purchased by me.  Song was sent to me for review.  Links within this post go to Zoya Russia's Facebook Page and Zoya's Facebook Page and are not affiliate links.  Credit for the first image within this post goes to Zoya Russia.  

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

KBShimmer Newsprint

This is 2 coats of Newsprint over 2 coats of Deborah Lippmann Stormy Weather.  

When I first saw the polishes on KBShimmer's website, Newsprint was the first one I was drawn to.  Unfortunately, I wasn't able to pick it up in my first order, as Christy said she had an issue with the red bar glitter and was waiting on a replacement.  However, as soon as I saw that it had been restocked, I placed another order before I'd even received my first on.  I wanted it that much.  

Newsprint is one of the more unique indie glitters in my collection and it's easily one of my favorites.  It's a mix of red, white, black, and silver glitters in all sorts of shapes and sizes suspended in a dark grey base.  There are bars, hexes, sqaures, and microglitter.  In fact, on KBShimmer's product page for this polish, it states that 14 glitters went in to this polish.  

I had no issues with application or formula on this.  The glitters easily came out of the bottle and were dispersed well on the nail.  I think you could possibly reach opacity with this polish, but to keep from adding so many layers on my nails, which can lead to goopy-ness, I chose to layer it over Deborah Lippmann Stormy Weather.  

KBShimmer polishes are available on their website, and sell for $8.50 a bottle.  Please note that if you are international, KBShimmer only sells directly to US customers.  If you are outside of the US, you will need to purchase their polishes from their stockist, Harlow & Co.  KBShimmer polishes from Harlow & Co sell for $9 a bottle.  Currently Harlow & Co is out of stock on all KBShimmer polishes, but I read that there should be a restock this weekend.  

Newsprint was purchased by me.  All links within this post are not affiliate links.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Candy Lacquer Polishes

Today, I have for you three colors by indie polish maker, Candy Lacquer.

Argyle - white, turquoise, and black diamond glitter, as well as white and black bar glitter in a clear base.  As soon as I saw a bottle pick of Argyle on another blog, I fell instantly in love and I knew I had to get it.  As soon as Candy Lacquer's Etsy store was reopened, Argyle was the first one I put in my cart.  Once I got it home, I love it even more... in the bottle.  Unfortunately, it was a pain to put on my nail.  I ended up pouring some out into a palette and then putting individual pieces of glitter on my nails with an orange stick.  Even with this method, it was still bumpy and I had bubbles after I put on a topcoat.  That said, I think it is still super awesome (can you look at my blog redesign and tell me what inspired it? LOL), and I still want to play around with it to see if I can find a better way of application.

Starlight - multi-sizes and shapes (there are stars!) of silver holographic glitter in a clear base.  I threw this one in my cart on a whim and I'm so happy I did.  Of the 3 Candy Lacquers I picked up, Starlight has the best application.  The glitters came out of the bottle easily, even the stars!  

White Wedding - multi-shaped and sized matte white glitter in a clear base.  Okay, so let's be honest... I got this one for the name.  I also thought that it looked super cool in the bottle, but really... I got it for the name.  LOL.  So when I got it home, I was pleasantly surprised.  I love this one over the bright red of Sooki, and think it would look equally as pretty over just about every color.  Application on this one was a little harder than Starlight, but nowhere near as difficult as Argyle.  I did have to go digging for the hearts, but that's to be expected.  

All in all, I really like the 3 polishes I picked up from Candy Lacquer.  Shipping was super quick and the owner, Sandra, was extremely pleasant.  I kind of wish that application on a few of them was a little easier, but honestly, with big glitters, you kind of know going in to it that you may have issues with application.

Candy Lacquers are $8 a bottle are available through their Etsy store (though it is currently closed).  For more information on restocks, please check their Facebook page.  

Argyle, Starlight, and White Wedding were purchased by me.  Links included within this post are not affiliate links.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Autism Awareness Fundraiser & Giveaway Reminder (and a few updates)

Hi everyone, I wanted to do a quick post to remind you of the Autism Awareness Fundraiser I am hosting along with Jamberry Nails by Kate.  Tomorrow is the last day of the fundraiser, so if you have been considering ordering Jamberry nails in the past, please consider ordering them through this fundraiser as Katie's commission will be donated to Autism Awarness.

Also, as a part of my Autism Awareness Giveaway, please note that I am giving you 2 extra entries if you participated in the fundraiser.  The giveaway ends in a week, but you can only get the 2 extra entries through tomorrow.  Currently, I have 67 entries in the giveaway, so please be sure to enter and to pass the information along.  

Additionally, I wanted to apologize for only posting sporadically over the last few weeks.  I had a bad break on my middle finger on my swatching hand, but also, it seems like the end of summer break is always just a downer for me.  I hate summer, and usually by late July/ early August, I am completely drained.  My children go back to school in 2 weeks, so hopefully, I will have a little more time to devote to posts, as well as answering comments, and blogger roundups.  

Furthermore, if you have emailed me, and I haven't gotent back with you.  It's not personal.  I am just feeling very down in the dumps because of the heat and the permanent headache that always comes in mid-summer.  Blogger Roundups will resume in mid-August, and I will post more information before I post the first one.  Also, I will try to get to any other emails within the next few days.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

OPI Outrageous Neons Boxed Set Review

A few days ago, I showed you Deborah Lippmann's boxed neon set, Run the World (Girls), and today, I have for you the other mini neon set out on the market, OPI's Outrageous Neons...

Set in the box.  From left to right, contains a white base, yellow, orange, pink, and purple neons, and a topcoat.  

Ridiculously Yellow - neon, daffodil yellow.  This is the only one of the 4 that I showed over the white base (like with the Lippmann, I had streaking with the darker colors over white).  It's a little brighter than it's Lippmann counterpart, being a daffodil yellow, rather than an egg yolk yellow.  Picture shown is 2 coats over 2 coats of the White Base.  

Formidably Orange - bright, red-orange neon.  This one reminded me of a neon version of OPI A Good Man-darin is Hard to Find (much like the Lippmann).  3 coats.  

Riotously Pink - bright pink neon.  This pink is very bright, but it's not retina-searing like Orly Beach Cruiser.  I think this one would look amazing with a black stamped design.  3 coats. 

Seriously Purple - magenta purple neon.  This one had a lot of red in the base, and reminded me of Zoya Charisma.  3 coats.

The formula on all of these was very similar.  It took 3 coats to reach opacity.  You will also want to wait a few minutes between coats as they are prone to drag.  

My biggest issue with these is the size of the bottle.  I never use up a bottle of polish, so the amount of polish you get (a eighth of an ounce) isn't my problem.  It's just that the brush is so itty-bitty.  :P  I also found myself wishing for a different color, such as a blue or a green or a bright (non red) purple.

This OPI boxed set retails for $19.99, and can be purchased a supply stores, salons, and online.

OPI Outrageous Neons was purchased by me.  
Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Autism Awareness Giveaway!

As I mentioned in my post on Monday, I am hosting an Autism Awareness Giveaway!  This issue is something that is so close to my heart, so am so excited to share the giveaway with you.

The prizes consist of both nail products and other autism awareness products and they include...
  1. Autism Awareness Jamberry Nail Shields 
  2. Autism Awareness Tumbler
  3. $15 GC to Jamberry Nails by Kate
  4. Autism Awareness Socks 
  5. Essie Mesmerize (one of my favorite blues and included because blue is the color of Autism Awareness)

To enter, simply use the Rafflecopter widget below.  Please note that due to size and the cost of shipping, this giveaway is for US girls only.  

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Also, please note I am giving extra entries if you participate in the Autism Awareness Fundraiser hosted by Katie, so for more information, please see my previous post.  The fundraiser ends on 7/31/2012, so you can only earn those extra entries up to that date.

Thank you so much for participating both in this giveaway and the fundraiser.  Good luck!

Prizes for giveaway were purchased by me, except for the Jamberry Nail Shields which were provided by Katie.  The bottle of Mesmerize included in the picture is my bottle.  You will receive a NEW bottle.  Links within this post are not affiliate links.
Monday, July 23, 2012

Jamberry Nails by Kate Review and Fundraiser

I recently contacted by Katie, an independent sales representative for Jamberry Nails, asking if I would be interested in trying out Jamberry's Nail Sheilds.  As I had been very curious about their nail shields, I said yes.

I received them a few days ago, and just got a chance to apply them and review them...

This is the Jamberry Nail Shields design in Silver, Gold & Black Plaid, which features a shiny black base (so shiny it was a little hard to get a clear picture) with a diagonal plaid design in silver, gold, and white.  It's may not the best design for my skin tone, but it was so pretty that I had to try it first.  

Also, as this is my first time applying Jamberry shields, I am very much a novice, so there are things I would do differently in my next go-around (which I will post soon), but for a first try, I think I did pretty good.  

Jamberry nail shields are a little different that most other press-on/stick-on nail products.  They are a pressure  sensitive film, rather than foils or polish, such as Sally Hansen Salon Effects or Broadway imPRESS nails.  That means that they will last longer.  The flip side of that is that they are little more time consuming to apply.  

You apply them to clean and prepped nails using a hair dryer and a cuticle pusher (along with scissors and a nail file).  It took me almost 1.5 hours to apply mine.  but that's because I am a total noob and wasn't exactly sure of what to do.  The instructions are very clear, but with any new product, there is a learning curve.  Hence, the over-filing on my middle finger and the mile of nail showing on my pinky.  LOL.

Additionally, Jamberry shields are different as with one package, you can do 2, possibly 3, manicures.  In each package, their are 18 shields, each of which can be cut in half and even in thirds if you want to use them on your toes.  Jamberry Nail Shields sell for $15 a package.  However, they are currently running a "buy 3 get 1" promotion, which makes them $11.25 a package, when you purchase 4.  Considering Sally Hansen Salon Effects are $8.50 for a package, I think the Jamberry Nails (which can essentially be broken down to $5.62 a manicure, when you purchase 4 designs) are a pretty good deal!  

If you are interested in purchasing Jamberry Nail Shields, please be sure to check out Katie's website, and please follow her on Facebook.  Furthermore, I have teamed up with the fabulous Katie to host an Autism Awareness fundraiser.  Currently, on her site, Katie is hosting a party titled "Autism Awareness Fundraiser".  This party runs until 7/31/2012, and during this time, Katie is donating all of her commission earned from this party to Autism Awareness!  As you all know, this is an issue that is very near and dear to my heart, so the more people that participate this party, the greater the donation will be to this cause.

Also, Katie is offering a fabulous incentive for those of you participating in this fundraiser!  Once the party is complete, she will pick one name, from those of you that participated, and that person will be able to pick 4 additional nail shields at no cost to the winner.  That is a $60 value!  Best part? There are no forms to enter, simply order Jamberry Nails Shields from Katie using the Autism Awareness Fundraiser party link, and you are automatically entered.  

Plus... I am also hosting a giveaway to coincide with this fundraiser and I will post more information on that on Tuesday  Wednesday (sorry, life got in the way), so stay tuned!

Jamberry Nail Shields were provided by Katie for review.  The above links link to Katie's Jamberry Nails website and Facebook page, as well as the application instruction for Jamberry Nails and they are not affiliate links.
Thursday, July 19, 2012

KBShimmer Showgirl

Showgirl is one of 5 KBShimmer polishes I have to show you over the next few days.  I swatched all of them at once and then and picked my favorite to show you first...

Isn't she pretty?  This is 2 coats of Showgirl over one coat of Nails Inc Black Taxi.  I opted to layer all of my KBShimmer polishes, and I especially chose to layer this one because it's a black jelly base.  I had a feeling that the glitter wouldn't "come out and play" as much if I had to use multiple layers to reach opacity.

 Showgirl is a mix of holo silver square and round glitter, as well as fuchsia glitter and micro-glitter in a black jelly base.  She is unbelievable unique and I can't wait to wear it as a full manicure.  

Like I mentioned, this is one of 5 KBShimmer polishes that I purchased, and I have to say, I am very pleased with (most) them in terms of formula and application.  A lot of times, indie glitters have a tendency to want to stay in the bottle.  I can't tell you how many times I've had to dig for hearts, or stars, or moons, or whatever else big, chunky glitters in the bottle.  

With Showgirl, and most of the other KBShimmers I'm going to show you, the application was mindless.  I did have to hunt a little bit to get the square glitters, but I simply dipped the brush back in the bottle and there they were.  It wasn't a drawn out process.  In fact, the formula on these reminds me very much of the now-unavailable NerdLacquers (and that's saying something because my lone NerdLacquer has an amazing formula and it's one of my favorites to apply).

KBShimmer polishes are available at KBShimmer's website.  However, they only ship polish within the U.S.  If you are international, please visit their stockist, Harlow & Co.  Polishes sell for $8.50 from KBShimmer directly and $9.00 from Harlow & Co.

Showgirl was purchased by me.  The above links link to websites to purchase this polish and are not affiliate links.
Wednesday, July 18, 2012

I'm now on Pinterest

I just wanted to do a quick little post to let you all know that I am now on Pinterest. 

When I post, I am also trying to pin those pictures to Pinterest, catagorizing mainly by brand.  I think I started with my Lush Lacquer post. 

I am also going to go back and pin my previous pictures (up to a certain point).  To check out my pictures on Pinterest, please click the Pinterest button in my right sidebar, or go to http://pinterest.com/apolishproblem/.


Deborah Lippmann Run the World (Girls) Boxed Set

So, I have been lemming this Deborah Lippmann neon boxed set for months.  As soon as I saw the press release, I immediately said "want".   I kept putting it off because it was only a set of minis and it was $45, but as soon as I saw that HSN had it for $35 and it was on value-pay, I snatched it up.  I got it a few weeks ago, and finally had a chance to swatch it...

Isn't the packaging the cutest?  I love that the polish bottles form the nail colors when you put the lid on the box.  I'm a sucker for adorable packaging.  

The colors themselves are a set of 5 neons, each of them named after a song with "girl" in the title...

Hollaback Girl - red-orange neon.  Hollaback Girl surprised me a little bit.  I thought it was going to be more orange when it was in the bottle, but then when I applied it, you could definitely see the red coming through.  It's like a neon version of OPI A Good Man-darin is Hard to Find.  Also, I now have "Hollaback Girl" stuck in a continuous loop in my head.

I Kissed a Girl - candy pink neon.  I Kissed a Girl is a gorgeous medium pink, with a good amount of blue in the base.  It reminded me of Orly Beach Cruiser, in that it's a neon pink, but unlike Beach Cruiser, it doesn't burn your retinas.  I really loved this color and it is one of my 2 favorites in this set, and it's the one that I wish she would sell as a full-sized single.  I had no issues with the formula.  3 coats.

It Girl - bright yellow neon.  It Girl was the sheerest of the bunch and is the only one that is a true jelly.  Personally, I didn't really like it alone on my nails, as it is almost the color of egg yolks.  However, I loved it when layered over white.  The first picture is 3 coats of It Girl by itself and the second color is 2 coats of It Girl layered over 2 coats of Nails Inc Floral Street.

Nasty Girl - magenta neon.  Nasty Girl was my second favorite in this set.  It's a beautiful magenta-purple and was the most opaque of the bunch.  I was able to reach opacity in 2 coats, but I used 3 to be consistent.  It did remind me a bit of Zoya Charisma, though, so I need to do a comparison.  Although, I think Nasty Girl leans a bit more red.  I used a topcoat over this polish to show you how they look when you apply topcoat.  

Party Girl - coral neon.  I say this is a coral, but keep in mind that this is a very red-based coral, like Rescue Beauty Lounge Bangin' (I don't have it to compare, unfortunately).  Again, the formula was very nice and I used 3 coats.  I did have a bit of a wonky brush on Party Girl, but it wasn't hard to control.

I think I may be in love with this set.  It's really cute, but also, all of the colors, except for It Girl are very wearable.  You can also make It Girl wearable simply by giving her a little foundation (is it wrong that I keep wanting to say "nail polish panties"? LOL).  I tried the other colors over white, and they didn't seem to play as nice, so they are definitely colors that can be work on their own.  The one thing I wish Deborah had changed was substitute one of the red-based polishes, Hollaback Girl and Party Girl, with another neon (blue or green) or perhaps even a bright white, though I realize she probably used the colors she did from a continuity stand-point.  

Also, the finish on these dries, what Deborah Lippmann calls, "demi-matte".  To me, they are more of a rubbery finish, like some of the Illamasqua polishes.  In some reviews I read of this set, I saw that many people were complaining of the finish.  Keep in mind, the finish is par for the course with neon polishes.  If you want to make your neons shiny, simply add a swipe of topcoat, like I did with Nasty Girl above.  Easy peasy.  

This set retails for $45, though I found it cheaper on HSN.com, though sadly, it's no longer on value-pay.  The set includes five 0.27 fl oz minis.  So, if you use retail pricing, that's $8 per mini or about half the price of a regular sized Lippmann polish.   Which isn't bad for these considering they are a good sized mini (much larger that the OPI minis which are an 1/8th of an ounce).   Yes, this is girl-math.  :)

Deborah Lippmann Run the World (Girls) was purchased by me from HSN.com.  The above link links to this product on HSN's website and is not an affiliate link.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

China Glaze On Safari Review

Today, I have for you four polishes from China Glaze's new fall collection, On Safari.  I'm not feeling very wordy while writing this, so I'll just jump right in to the polishes (stop... I can hear you saying "Thank God" lol)...

Adventure Red-y - deep red creme.  This is the perfect shade of red for fall, and I especially loved it on my short nails.  There is a bit of brown in the base, but not so much that it looks like dried blood (like some deep reds I've seen).  The formula on this one was perfect.  It was practically a one-coater, but I ended up doing 2 coats.

Exotic Encounters - teal green creme.  Another perfect fall variation of a color.  This one was slightly dusty in the base, and also a little more teal that my picture portrays.  The formula on this one wasn't as thick as Adventure Red-y, but I was still able to reach opacity in 2 coats.

I Herd That - small multi-colored and gold glitter in a clear base.  The multi-colored glitter is a mix of red, green, and orange, along with the prominent gold glitter.  This is one of 2 glitters in this collection.  The other one being I'm Not Lion (which I don't have).  These 2 glitters remind me of the small glitters in China Glaze's special glitters collection from 2009.  The above picture is 3 coats, and while on macro, you can see thin spots, to the naked eye, it was full coverage.  

Kalahari Kiss - yellow-based khaki creme.  This one is a bit of an odd duck, much like Classic Camel from China Glaze's 2010 Vintage Vixen collection (though of course, that one is a shimmer) or Barielle's Angora Aura.  In the bottle, I didn't think this one would work with my skin-tone, but I really like it on the nail.  The formula was a bit streaky, and was prone to slide on the nail, so I applied a coat of CND Stickey before I swatched the above picture.  With the sticky base coat, I was able to reach opacity in 2 coats.  Be sure to wait a few minutes in-between coats with this one.

I really liked all of the 4 colors in this collection that I had the opportunity to review.  My hands-down favorite was Adventure Red-y, mainly because of formula and application (plus, the color is really pretty).  That said, there isn't one in the 4 that I wouldn't recommend.  

On Safari is on sale now and China Glaze polishes retail for $7 a bottle.  If you would like to see swatches of the entire collection, I recommend checking out The Polishaholic or Scrangie, as both of them have fabulous pictures of the entire collection.  

China Glaze on Safari was sent to me for review.  The above links link to other blogs (The Polishaholic and Scrangie) and are not affiliate links.

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You can reach me at megan@apolishproblem.com.



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